5779 Chanukah Day 6 — Sitting in the Light of Shabbat

Shabbat arrives and calls us to stop doing and practice being.  Shabbat declares that pausing and resting are sacred practices, essential to renewing and refreshing our souls.

With splendor and radiance Shabbat comes to fill and hold us with shalom, a deep sense of well-being, wholeness and peace.

As Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel declares:

In the tempestuous ocean of time and toil there are islands of stillness where humans may enter a harbor and reclaim their dignity.  This island is the seventh day, the Sabbath, a day of detachment from things, instruments and practical affairs, a day of attachment to the spirit … Is there any institution that holds out a greater hope for human progress than Shabbat?

Meditation for the 6th day of Chanukah

Taking our seats, we set an intention to receive and welcome Shabbat. As we rest the attention on the breath, we gently say to ourselves, there is nothing else I need to do, there is nowhere else I need to be, I am free to welcome and sit in the presence of Shabbat. After a few moments we begin to repeat the word: shalom, breathing the sound and sensations of shalom (wholeness, well-being, peace) into our bodies. With each breath shalom flows through and fills us. Every time we notice a thought or story arise in our minds, we say to the thought, shalom, and return the attention to the breath.

As we close the sit we give thanks for taking this time to pause.